Summary of the Schneide Dev Brunch at 2012-07-15

If you couldn’t attend the Schneide Dev Brunch in July 2012, here are the main topics we discussed neatly summarized.

Two weeks ago, we held another Schneide Dev Brunch. The Dev Brunch is a regular brunch on a sunday, only that all attendees want to talk about software development and various other topics. If you bring a software-related topic along with your food, everyone has something to share. The brunch was so well attended that we had trouble to all find a chair and fit at the table. There were quite some new participants, so the introductory round was necessary again. Let’s have a look at the main topics we discussed:

Choosing Google Web Toolkit

If you start the development of a new web application today, there are many frameworks to call to aid. Most of them will not lend a hand, but mostly stand in the way. In a short presentation, we learnt about the arguments in favor and against the use of the Google Web Toolkit for the development of a highly customizable web application. The two most important aspects were that GWT enables desktop-like “real” (as opposed to “web”) development but still provides enough hooks to embrace the web-only developers.

Spock Framework

The Spock testing framework tries to bring natural and expressive syntax back to testing. It mixes the best of most current testing and specification frameworks together in a groovy-based domain specific language. The first contact with Spock of one of our attendees was very pleasant. The framework provides opiniated default tools for most modern testing aspects (e.g. mocking), but is extremely integrative with all current testing libraries. The take-away of this topic was: Try Spock for your next adventures in testing.

Schneide job offer

We from the Softwareschneiderei host the Dev Brunch for nearly six years now. In all these years, we grew slowly without the need to announce open job offers. Now is the time where even we have to insert a little bit of advertising into the brunch: we are hiring. Enough said.

SWT UI-based tests

The Standard Widget Toolkit is the graphical foundation of the Eclipse platform. It’s a bit dated (like most Java-based UI toolkits) and doesn’t really embrace automatic UI-based tests. There is SWTBot, but it doesn’t provide the power of a tool like FEST-Swing. We discussed the situation, but couldn’t offer much help.

Decorator pattern

Another question for discussion was the usage of the classic decorator design pattern in a rather twisted use case. Without going into much detail, the best option would have been the use of Mixins, but the environment (Java) doesn’t provide them. It was an interesting discussion with lots of different solution attempts. We didn’t find the definitive answer, but there was some good inspiration in the train of thoughts.

The programming language Go

One guest offered us a quick overview over the new programming language Go, developed by Google. To sum up a few aspects that were mentioned, Go is compiled to native code, doesn’t offer type inheritance but compile-time interface binding (if it matches, it binds) and so-called goroutines. The latter are slightly improved coroutines. The communication between objects is mostly done with channels, a very flexible event notification system. The feature with the most raised eyebrows was the visibility modifier: capitalization. If your name begins with a capital letter, it is exported. You can quickly learn the basics of the language with the web-based “Tour of Go”.

Summary of Java Forum Stuttgart

One attendee summed up his impressions and experiences with this year’s Java Forum Stuttgart, a local Java-based conference. The day was worthwile and informative, but some basic pieces went missing. For example, you weren’t provided with a notepad and a pen and had to go on a hunt at the exhibitor booths. The single extraordinary talk that you’ll remember for years didn’t happen, either. Most visited talks were solid, but not outstanding. Most noteworthy tools this year were Gerrit and Sonar.

Data loses its location

A final aspect for open discussion was the fact that stored data loses its location. With all modern web- or cloud-based services, the notion of a “storage medium” begins to lose meaning. And with the fast mobile internet access, you won’t have to reside at a specific location to access all your data. For the next generations of computer users (read: kids), data will behave like the notorious aether: always there, never affixable.


As usual, the Dev Brunch contained a lot more chatter and talk than listed here. The high number of attendees makes for an unique experience every time. We are looking forward to the next Dev Brunch at the Softwareschneiderei. And as always, we are open for guests and future regulars. Just drop us a notice and we’ll invite you over next time.

Blog harvest, March/Easter 2010

Some noteworthy blog articles, harvested for March/Easter 2010. You’ll hear a lot about common software bugs, Java, inappropriate hiring procedures and Scala. If you ever wanted to know about the Fussy Bird in Scala, this blog post is for you, too.

Easter times means springtime, an hour stolen by the daylight saving time, rapidly changing weather and the first days without gloves (I catch chillblains very quick. There isn’t an adequate word for them in the german language, so I couldn’t name it for years). We are looking forward for a very hot summer, not only with the weather. But now, let’s talk about software.

  • Top 10 Web Software Application Security Risks – The OWASP community has released their current list of web programmer gotchas. There is nothing to add but “don’t try this at work, kids!”. For a broader audience, there’s the updated “Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors” from the Common Weakness Enumeration project.
  • The 10 most common mistakes made in software development – Another top list with developer mistakes, written by Peter Horsten from GOYELLO IT Services. This one isn’t too code centric and doesn’t provide many solutions, but there is much wisdom in top 9 and 10.
  • I Have No Talent – There is a saying that open source development will make you humble, but John Nunemaker takes it to an extreme. He speaks true words. My favourite phrase is the last one, saying that he doesn’t compare himself to others, but to his own progress. If only everybody would do.
  • Why I love everything you hate about Java – An interesting blog entry by Nick Kallen. He takes a stand for the “bloated” middle-layer in (java) code. The post tends to be a long read, but I found it worthwile. The one thing I hate about Java is the slow progress in recent years.
  • Why I dropped Scala in favor of Java? – While you might argue about the universal importance of Subhash Chandran’s reasoning, it’s still valid. Combined with the previous blog harvest entry, there’s a pattern to be discovered: the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. But you have to change sides to see it.
  • NIO.2 : The new Path API in Java 7 – Java makes slow progress in recent years, but there is progress to be seen. The Path API is something we could have used years earlier. The DirectoryStream and WatchService are two functionalities you couldn’t easily build on your own yet.
  • Ant 1.8 Scanning Leaves 1.7.1 in the Dust – If you are using Ant, you can regain performance with just an upgrade. And you will find the other new features (like lexically scoped properties) really useful.

This was the more serious part of this harvesting. Let’s read some articles that share their message in a lighter way:

Finally, I want to introduce a “interesting tool” section. Each new harvest should present a framework/product/project I found interesting enough to tell you about it:

  • op4j – It calls itself a developer happiness tool. You may call it a stress test for static imports, collection kung-fu or fluency madness. But nevertheless, it’s fun to apply it to your boring old data structures.

P.S.: No easter egg is to be found in this posting.